By the end of class, you will be able to:
Key Assignment Details
Your Inquiry question:
Important: Good inquiry questions will most likely require more than one draft.
Good: How do good readers use strategies to understand text?
Better: Which strategy should I use when I don't understand what I'm reading?
Good: What is proper punctuation, and why is it important?
Better: When is proper punctuation mandatory, and when is it optional?
Good: Why is World War I important?
Better: How important was World War I in shaping the modern world?
Start with a preliminary search. Consider news sources, encyclopedia articles or magazine articles to determine your interests. Revise your question and your search strategy.
Strengths: short, contains background information on a topic, normally a great starting point when you are just learning about a topic
Weaknesses: too short, print encyclopedias are out of date quickly, Wikipedia has reliability issues
Books and Book Chapters
Strengths: Provides an in-depth investigation into a topic
Weaknesses: too long, sometimes hard to tell whether it is scholarly
Scholarly Journal Articles
Strengths: often based on research findings or extensive review, written by experts, reviewed by experts, provides evidence
Weaknesses: Sometimes written using discipline-specific language or terminology, hard to understand,
Media Sources (news, online magazine articles)
Strengths: Good for current information
Weaknesses: Sometimes biased, sometimes written to entertain, often not written by experts
Websites & Social Media
Strengths: Highly accessible, includes government info
Weaknesses: It is hard to assess credibility and reliability...anyone can post online or create a website
What is peer-review?
When a source has been peer-reviewed it has undergone the review and scrutiny of a review board of colleagues in the author's field. They evaluate this source as part of the body of research for a particular discipline and make recommendations regarding its publication in a journal, revisions prior to publication, or, in some cases, reject its publication.
Quality refers to how trustworthy and reputable your source is.
Start with the Education Subject Guide
Less is More: Start with one or two words and then add one additional term at a time
Phrase searching: Use "quotation marks" around key ideas made up of multiple words
Truncation: Use an asterisk * to find different endings to your keywords
Use limits: These refine (narrow) your search using different restrictions
Boolean: OR / AND / NOT
Useful Guides and Resources
From Mount Royal University: